Saturday, April 21, 2018

Water Gathering

Sign on grey van in background:
Give in to sin!
The phrase “the best day ever” might come to be replaced by “another spectacular day for me”.

Rebecca made breakfast.

We have not drawn straws as to whom should do that.

Indeed, there has been no dividing up of the jobs to be done among us.

panorama view along Invermere Highway
We knew we had to be in charge of our own breakfast this morning which lead us to a Save-On Foods last night and a charming half hour looking at wonderful produce to put into an empty fridge.

Bonnie had blackberries and strawberries in her hands before we had even grabbed a grocery chart.

Rebecca had an idea to buy cremoni mushrooms to be fried up into an harvarti cheese omelette in the morning.

That required a bit of butter and then some garlic aioli to spread on a loaf of whole wheat bread which we had brought along to cut costs.
... rock protrusion in hill on highway ...
All we could think of that we hadn’t purchased was salt and pepper but one never finds that out until trhing to make a late night toasted tomato sandwich. Most of the time we spend laughing, or looking at the spectacular views of glaciated mountains, both to the east and the west of us. I guess that is why they call this the Columbia River Valley for there are snow capped mountains in every direct.

The Secwepemc Nation is represented by 17 tribes and has a membership of 10,000 people.

I am trying to look for a metaphor that will quickly encapsulate what I have learned today.

We are gathered to talk about water.

The presentations have been about water today, mostly focusing on the Columbia River Treaty which is a transnational water treaty (1964), originating because Americans had built on a flood plane in Portland, Oregon and needed to control how the water from Canada arrived there. In return Canada is paid for some of the hydro that is generated by dams owned by Americans.

Kicking Horse River in Golden
The hurtful part to the treaty is that the Americans asked if there would be an impact to the Hoover Dam when it was built, for the salmon would no longer be able to access the waters of the Columbia. The Canadians said no problem to that. When it was discovered that the salmon could no longer get back to Canadian waters on their return home, and that the indigenous people would no longer be able to fish as they have done for 10,000 years, our government solved the problem by sending the indigenous people canned Spam. And here is the metaphor for the day. Is there a way to unwind the gifting of Spam since fishing for an abundance of salmon is no longer possible? Maybe that is not a metaphor.

I didn’t get in my 10,000 steps today. Instead I listened intently to speakers, wrote notes as I listened, and was attentive to the questions and answers at the Speakers Forum. I was weary and Rebecca told me to go up to the hotel room to have a nap. But how could I do that when the next speaker seemed to invite even more of my attention that the ones before them had. There was a break-out room for Elders, where they could have massages, drink hot herbal teas (I tried one made out of horsetails), rest on couches and refresh themselves for more lectures. I prefer to doze in and out, sitting on the same chair, surrounded by my notebook and coloured pencils, none of which I have the time to use. “Must not miss one word.” That is my motto.

The programme said that the salmon feast would begin at 6 pm.

However rain flooded out the gathering tent this morning, so the feast was broken into 2 separate venues, much to the chagrin of the organizers who like to have people meet together.

walkway along Kicking Horse River in Golden
I came back to take my nap for the hour before the feast. When Bonnie and I arrived at the appointed time it was over.

“Didn’t you hear that the time was also changed, up to 5 pm to 6 pm?”

No, I didn’t hear that and when I arrived at 6:15 pm the feast was so finished that the caterers had cleared away all of the dishes and were getting reading for the next event in that space.

Must have been some feast!


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